Teenage Star, Amalaha, Gives Nigeria First Commonwealth Gold
It took a 16-year-old Chika Amalaha for Nigeria to triumph where older athletes failed as the teenager Friday shocked the world by winning the first gold medal for her country in the on-going Commonwealth games in Glasgow, Scotland in the women 53kg weightlifting event.
The 16-year-old who looked like she could go for more heaved a combined weight of 196kg to clinch the gold in the keenly contested event. Amalaha defeated the more experienced Paupa New Guinea’s Dika Toua with three points, while India’s Santoshi Masta won bronze with 188kg.
The event continues today with the men taking their turn to dig for gold. Nigeria’s Nkechi Opara had won bronze on the opening day of the weightlifting event in the 48kg category. However, the joy of winning gold was subdued as the country’s athletes were still expecting their kits. Amalaha competed in ‘mufti’ and this remained a subject of discussion in the camp of the Nigerian delegation.
At the Glasgow games, Nigeria appears to be signifying that it is prepared to be a dominant force in weightlifting once again, as was the case in 2010 when the country topped the sports’ medal charts with five gold, four silver and five bronze. Despite the problems Team Nigeria has had at the games, the country has a strong weightlifting women’s team, including the likes of 2010 63kg gold winner Obioma Agatha Okoli and Maryam Usman.